While You Wait for Bridgerton Season 2
Dearest Readers: if you were beguiled by the sparkling romance and steamy drama of Netflix’s Bridgerton, we’ve got good news–a whole world of historical romance awaits you! Season 2 of Bridgerton starts on March 25, and we’ve gathered a variety of terrific titles full of handsome dukes, lovable rogues, dazzling debutantes, and more to hold you over until Lady Whistledown’s clever wit (and delicious gossip) strikes again.
Visit our booklist in the catalog to find the books in the library:
Download a PDF copy of this booklist here.
Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore
Brilliant but destitute Annabelle Archer is one of the first female students at Oxford University. In return for her scholarship, she must recruit influential men to champion the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her first target is Sebastian Devereux: cold, calculating and the most powerful duke in England.
When Annabelle and her friends infiltrate his luxurious estate, she’s appalled to find herself attracted to the infuriatingly intelligent aristocrat – but perhaps she’s not the only one struggling with desire. Soon Annabelle is locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own. She’ll need to learn fast just what it takes to bring down a duke.
Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas
A twist of fate.
Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities…and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl’s three innocent sisters are still occupying the house—along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own.
A clash of wills.
Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains: can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she’s ever known?
Temptation’s Darling by Johanna Lindsey
Threatened by powerful enemies, William Blackburn, Earl of Ketterham, lives in exile in the Scottish Highlands with his daughter, Vanessa. When she comes of age, William urges her to return to her mother in England to make her debut. Raised with all the advantages and freedom a boy would have, Vanessa doubts she can fit into the mold of a proper young lady. Still, she agrees to re-enter fashionable society, determined to end the vendetta against her father, never imagining the high price she will have to pay.
Lord Montgomery Townsend enjoys living on the edge, courting danger as he fixes potentially scandalous problems for the Prince Regent. While hiding out at the home of the Countess of Ketterham, Monty watches a disaster-in-the-making as his hostess tries to prepare her estranged daughter for a match with the pompous son of a powerful family. Puzzled as to why independent-minded Vanessa submits to being turned into a puppet and wants to marry the arrogant rogue, Monty nonetheless steps in to make her dreams come true. But no good deed goes unpunished, and soon he faces more pressing problems, including the temptation to upend Vanessa’s wedding plans so he can marry her himself!
The Runaway Duchess by Joanna Lowell
Pretty and pampered, Lavinia Yardley always dreamed of becoming a duchess. But family disgrace forces her into marriage with the most vile duke in England, and she finds herself desperate for a way out. When a rustic stranger mistakes her for globe-trotting botanist Muriel Pendrake at a train station, Lavinia has a split second to decide whether to submit to her fate or steal someone else’s.
Neal Traymayne spent his youth traveling the world as Varnham Nursery’s most daring plant hunter. Now he runs the nursery and is ready to settle down with a like-minded wife who’ll fit right in with his large, happy, down-to-earth family. His correspondence with Muriel Pendrake proved they’re the perfect match. Odd that the woman in the flesh seems more like a society belle than a scientist.
As they tramp the Cornish moors together, Lavinia and Neal discover a wild and rare desire. But this blossoming love is rooted in lies, and when the real Muriel Pendrake shows up, they can’t hide from who they are. The truth may wither their hopes of happiness, or it may bloom into the sweetest love of all.
To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters
Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.
Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.
Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?
With charm, wit, and heart in spades, To Have and to Hoax is a fresh and eminently entertaining romantic comedy—perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Julia Quinn.
Never Fall For Your Fiancee by Virginia Heath
The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, ever wants is a wife. Unfortunately for him, his mother is determined to find him one, even from across the other side of the ocean. So, Hugh invents a fake fiancée to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay. But when Hugh learns his interfering mother is on a ship bound for England, he realizes his complicated, convoluted but convenient ruse is about to implode. Until he collides with a beautiful woman, who might just be the miracle he needs.
Minerva Merriwell has had to struggle to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since their feckless father abandoned them. Work as a woodcut engraver is few and far between, and the Merriwell sisters are nearly penniless. So, when Hugh asks Minerva to pose as his fiancée while his mother is visiting, she knows that while the scheme sounds ludicrous, the offer is too good to pass up.
Once Minerva and her sisters arrive at Hugh’s estate, of course, nothing goes according to his meticulous plan. As hilarity and miscommunication ensue, while everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight, Hugh and Minerva’s fake engagement starts to turn into a real romance. But can they trust each other, when their relationship started with a lie?
The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews
Evelyn Maltravers understands exactly how little she’s worth on the marriage mart. As an incurable bluestocking from a family tumbling swiftly toward ruin, she knows she’ll never make a match in a ballroom. Her only hope is to distinguish herself by making the biggest splash in the one sphere she excels: on horseback. In haute couture. But to truly capture London’s attention she’ll need a habit-maker who’s not afraid to take risks with his designs—and with his heart.
Half-Indian tailor Ahmad Malik has always had a talent for making women beautiful, inching his way toward recognition by designing riding habits for Rotten Row’s infamous Pretty Horsebreakers—but no one compares to Evelyn. Her unbridled spirit enchants him, awakening a depth of feeling he never thought possible.
But pushing boundaries comes at a cost and not everyone is pleased to welcome Evelyn and Ahmad into fashionable society. With obstacles spanning between them, the indomitable pair must decide which hurdles they can jump and what matters most: making their mark or following their hearts?
The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell
When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can’t banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. Compelled to capture every detail, she creates a stunning portrait but is forced to sell it when the rent comes due. What could be worse than surrendering the very picture of your desire? Meeting the man himself.
Anthony Philby, Duke of Weston, is nobody’s muse. Upon discovering the scandalous likeness, he springs into action. His infamous family has been torn apart by shame and secrets, and he can’t afford more gossip. Even a whisper may jeopardize his inheritance and his chance at independence. His plan is simple: burn the painting, confront the artist. Or rather, it’s simple until he meets Lucy and decides to offer the bewitching young artist a devil’s bargain. He’ll help save her foreclosed home, if she’ll help repair his family’s brutal legacy.
An irresistible passion ignites between them, but when danger strikes, Lucy and Anthony must risk everything… for a love that might destroy them both.
The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton
Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.
Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.
When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.
The Duchess by Danielle Steel
Angelique Latham has grown up at magnificent Belgrave Castle under the loving tutelage of her father, the Duke of Westerfield, after the death of her aristocratic French mother. At eighteen she is her father’s closest, most trusted child, schooled in managing their grand estate. But when he dies, her half-brothers brutally turn her out, denying her very existence. Angelique has a keen mind, remarkable beauty, and an envelope of money her father pressed upon her. To survive, she will need all her resources–and one bold stroke of fortune.
Unable to secure employment without references or connections, Angelique desperately makes her way to Paris, where she rescues a young woman fleeing an abusive madam–and suddenly sees a possibility: Open an elegant house of pleasure that will protect its women and serve only the best clients. With her upper-class breeding, her impeccable style, and her father’s bequest, Angelique creates Le Boudoir, soon a sensational establishment where powerful men, secret desires, and beautiful, sophisticated women come together. But living on the edge of scandal, can she ever make a life of her own–or regain her rightful place in the world?
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.
My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester—and, Reader, she marries him. Or does she?
Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Bronte, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.
A collection of the most dramatic, romantic, and memorable quotes from the charming characters of the Bridgerton world, The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton is the perfect gift for fans of the Bridgerton series and the groundbreaking Shondaland/Netflix adaptation. With her signature wink and nod, Lady Whistledown herself will act as readers’ familiar and trusted guide, introducing each character’s most memorable quotes.
Each chapter in the book will highlight a different character from the Bridgerton series and include a new introduction from Lady Whistledown, quotes from the character, and things other characters have said about them over the course of the entire series. Fans will get a 360-degree view of each of their favorite personalities, with new commentary and takeaways from Lady Whistledown.
BONUS: The Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
The book series that started it all. Set between 1813 and 1827, the Bridgerton Series is a collection of eight novels, each featuring one of the eight children of the late Viscount Bridgerton: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth.
PS: Don’t forget to register for our February 2022 Beanstack challenge! Log your reading and complete fun activities to earn badges and enter to win a sweet prize. Register at highland.beanstack.org or download the Beanstack Tracker app on your smartphone to get started.
Summaries provided by the library’s catalog and the publishers.